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A Push for Diversity
Sallie Krawcheck, 85 Broads
If Sallie Krawcheck has her way, the old boy's network will soon be ancient history. The former Wall Street exec--renowned for turning around floundering businesses when she held key positions at Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.--now spends her days at 85 Broads, a global women's network that produces webinars, networking events and workshops designed to help women develop and hone leadership skills and invest in one another's success.
Krawcheck took over ownership of 85 Broads, established in 1997 and named for the former address of Goldman Sachs, last May. It now has more than 32,000 members in 130 countries."In corporate America we've gone sideways, and in financial services we've gone backwards," says Krawcheck of the lack of diversity in leadership. The Great Recession of 2008 affirmed this for her. "People talk about the downturn being caused by greed, but it wasn't just greed: It was groupthink. Diversity of thought--driven by diversity of background, of gender, of color--cuts right through groupthink," she says. "Nothing bad happens when women are in positions of power."
To provide networking opportunities, 85 Broads offers members a variety of educational events, from media training to courses on starting a hedge fund or publishing and marketing a book, at settings that range from low-key lunches and happy hours to more formal summits and webinars. "Men seem to learn to network earlier than women do, and it can be the difference in getting that promotion," Krawcheck says.
To continually improve the organization's resources, she regularly taps members for feedback. And what do they want? More education, and opportunities to meet more women like them.
At one time Krawcheck was described as the most powerful woman on Wall Street. And that's exactly who it'll take to get a broader range of people into the upper echelons of corporate America. --Michelle Juergen